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Learning support in international schools

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Dramakween, Jul 31, 2019.

  1. yasf

    yasf Established commenter

    I agree that the for-profit / non profit divide is simplistic. There are some for profits that are good to work for and some non profits that aren't. That said, as a general rule, class sizes are usually smaller, wages higher and facilities better in non profits. Makes sense really - if you don't have someone creaming off the profits then, all other things being equal, the money goes back into the school.
    Too true. Also some schools deliberately don't have good SEN departments as they don't want to turn into 'that' school.
     
    dumbbells66 likes this.
  2. Dramakween

    Dramakween Occasional commenter

    Thank you - I think you’re absolutely right about levelling the playing field.
     
  3. Dramakween

    Dramakween Occasional commenter

    We're back at school in a couple of weeks. I can always ask our SENCO about qualifications if you like.[/QUOTE]

    ejclibrarian, that would be very much appreciated! Thank you.
     
    ejclibrarian likes this.
  4. Dramakween

    Dramakween Occasional commenter

    Thanks everyone. Interesting discussion.
     
  5. Dramakween

    Dramakween Occasional commenter

    I didn’t post the previous one properly!

    Ejclibrarian, if you could ask your SENCO about qualifications I would really appreciate it. Thank you.
     
    ejclibrarian likes this.
  6. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    The international schools I worked in all had Learning Support departments (though this is in 'Western' Europe). At a particular school in Brussels (one of the best in the country I believe: I was offered a job but - true to form - my current employer at the time produced a much-larger carrot to stay!) had a very impressive SEN/EAL/LS department of about fifteen learning support assistants led by an SLT-designated SENCO. When we were preparing to move there, my partner looked at LS roles in the school and they were quite comparable to UK roles in terms of training, qualifications and support... bottom line, great for partners who are moving with you, but not a salary to support yourself (or anyone else!) on.
     
  7. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    our learning support teachers are on the same salary scale as the teachers. not sure how normal this is though
     
    yasf likes this.
  8. englishtt06

    englishtt06 Occasional commenter

    Sorry - I should have been clearer. Learning Support/SEN teachers are paid as teachers; assistants were equivalent to UK salaries.
     
  9. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    ahhh...that makes sense. same with us, well apart from the UK bit
     
    yasf likes this.
  10. rosiecg

    rosiecg Occasional commenter

    I have spent the past 2.5yrs slogging away to improve awareness and inclusion of children with SEN in my international school. When I arrived I was the only person doing the job in a school of 1300+ students. The Principal of the time didn't understand why I might need more support. Now there are 2 of us across the school.

    Sometime last year I was told that the school board/owner do not want us to "get a reputation as a special school" because it would drive other "normal" students away.

    I feel very sorry for the students we have who could easily be successful in our school with just a little understanding, but when the school insists parents pay for their own 1:1 assistant and does nothing itself, it is very difficult. I've lost all enthusiasm for working in SEN now and can't wait to leave.

    Sorry to be so negative, but please use my experience as a warning to check the school you are applying for. Perhaps call up their admissions department incognito and ask about your (pretend) SEN child first. Ask the Principal questions about numbers, support available etc. Does it seem like they know what they're talking about? See if you can have a private chat with someone who works there to get the real feedback. Join a parent group on Facebook and ask there too.
     
    grdwdgrrrl likes this.
  11. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    So apart from a few exceptions (not surprisingly one of them is in Angola ;)) the febster and rosiecg have it about right on this topic.

    If you are an SEN specialist looking to work abroad you have to do a lot of research to find one of those schools that does have a proper SEN policy/programme/department but in my experience they are few and far between.
     
  12. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    all of my schools, all the schools i have been in schools associations with, and all the schools my friends, relatives and ex colleagues work in have student support departments. in some of them they are very large departments indeed.

    so no @makhnovite they are not few and far between in my experience.

    this is what happens when you work in quality schools ;)
     
  13. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    In the IB standards and practice, Standard B2: 8 and 9 are specifically about student support and schools providing support with special educational needs.

    these are non negotiable standards that have to be addressed in every IB school...... so different to your "few and far between". and as we all know, there are a lot more IB schools out there than British schools.
     
  14. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    'these are non negotiable standards that have to be addressed in every IB school......'

    You are assuming that the IB enforces these non-negotiable standards, unfortunately it does not. The IB is too fond of its fees to ever remove approval for any of its programmes from a school for having the kind of SEN provision that I mentioned earlier.
     
  15. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    I would completely disagree with everything you just said.
     
  16. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    'I would completely disagree with everything you just said.'

    That's because you are an IBeliever who has drunk their Kool Aid!! :p
     
  17. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Its because i know what im talking about, and its based on extensive experience
     
  18. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    I would completely disagree with everything you just said.
     
  19. dumbbells66

    dumbbells66 Lead commenter

    Drag yourself out of the educational darkages of the massively restrictive British system and take a look at what its like to actually teach...you never know, you might like it o_O
     
    yasf likes this.
  20. makhnovite

    makhnovite Established commenter

    You clearly don't recall my own experience which is probably greater than yours. Twenty years as an IB teacher, an IB Coordinator, a VP at a continuum school, workshop leader, visiting team member, and all round good egg. But I don't blindly accept everything the IB put out, I am a critical thinker!
     
    yasf likes this.

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